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[OSLO] A global agreement on climate change meant to shift the world economy from fossil fuels will come into force next month after passing a required threshold for ratification on Wednesday with backing from European nations, a UN website showed.
Support for the Paris Agreement has widened to nations representing 56.75 per cent of world greenhouse gas emissions, above the 55 per cent needed for entry into force, it showed. The deal will formally start in 30 days.
European nations led by Germany and France helped tip the agreement over the 55 per cent after approval by the European Parliament. It already has support from other major emitters led by China, the United States and India.
In total, 72 countries have ratified the agreement, according to the UN website.
Several nations hailed the rapid ratification of an agreement meant to cut global greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, to limit floods, droughts, more powerful storms and rising ocean levels.
It took eight years for the previous UN climate deal, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which obliged only rich nations to cut emissions, to gain enough backing to enter into force.
Entry into force "demonstrates unprecedented political momentum for climate action and bodes well for us moving forward," said Thoriq Ibrahim, Environment Minister for the Maldives and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States.
The Paris Agreement will enter into force just before the US presidential election on Nov 8.
Republican Donald Trump opposes the Paris Agreement while Democrat Hillary Clinton is a strong supporter.